ISLAMABAD - Defying Planning Commission’s clear directions that in the presence of sufficient lighting system in place at under-construction Zero Point Interchange (ZPI), the installment of LED lights would be a wastage of money, the city managers insist to install the same with a cost of Rs 36 million at the facility.

In a latest development, the city managers have prepared PC-I of the project over fortnight period, after TheNation pointed out massive irregularities in the project a few days ago, but after inviting tenders from the interested firms.

Documents available with TheNation shows that installation of LED lighting towers was part of the master plan of under construction ZPI, but Planning Commission had rejected it after terming that particular item as “illogical and wastage of money” in the presence of sufficient lighting systems already in place in PC-I of the project.

The current lighting system on ZPI project costs Rs 70 million approximately to CDA.

In a bid to oblige cronies by ignoring the Planning Commission suggestions and fragile financial situation of the Authority as well, the shrewd Authority bosses decided to do this extravagant expenditure other than the Rs 4.1 billion ZPI project.

The city managers are all set to award this Rs 30 million project of installation of LED lights in an irregular manner to a firm owned by a person well connected with the Prime Minister Secretariat, TheNation has learnt reliably.

The CDA has invited sealed tenders from the interested firms under the name of work, “Supply/installation of LED lighting towers with mobile crown and solar system and supply installation of intelligent lighting system at Zero Point Interchange,” on September 17, 2011.

Tenders were invited in sheer violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) without preparing PC-I of the project. Whole the tendering process was manipulated to favour a single firm. As many as, four firms have submitted their sealed tenders till October 19, 2011, the last date for submission of tender documents.

Documents available show that notice inviting tender (NIT) cost of the project is calculated on the basis of scheduled rate or the open market rate, however, in this particular case NIT cost, that is Rs29.49 million approximately, was drawn from rate quotation that was submitted by Oslo. Out of four firms, Oslo offered lowest bid that was approximately 24 percent above the firm’s own settled NIT cost of Rs29.49 million.

Sources informed that Oslo is the same firm that was earlier awarded a work of installation of some 300 electricity polls on ZPI project by the contractor carrying out work on it.

The company, Oslo, violating the terms and conditions of the agreement and to earn more and more profit installed polls measuring 160-diameter of size rather than the approved one, 180-diameter, informed an official of E&M directorate.

Resultantly, the contractor firm termed the thin polls as violation of described terms and directed the firm to re-install polls of the size that was mentioned in the agreement.

The polls were later re-installed by the firm, he added. When contacted by The Nation Deputy Director E&M Altaf Khan, who is also project director of the aforementioned project, gave an impression like the project has been put on backburner for now.

Khan negated the impression that PC-I of the project has been prepared after submission of tenders for the purpose. “CDA has so far not prepared any PC-I of the project.”

Contrary to the fact that this scribe has gone through all the newly prepared PC-I documents. Mr Khan further added that owing to paucity of funds the Authority was not in a position to initiate the project. “Most probably this project would be dropped owing to aforementioned issues,” he added.

The owner of Oslo Company is stated to be the son of one of the friends of slain Benazir Bhutto and is well connected with the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.

After terming a bid 24 percent above the NIT cost as lowest bid, the cost of the project has already enhanced to Rs36.57 million. The project marked by several irregularities is now with the office of Director Q&S.

An official of E&M directorate further informed that at first CDA Member Engineering tried to award this contract on single tender basis, however, later the whole fabricated drama was played to keep the things in order.